By Mary Ann Faremouth,
The Fourth Step of the Faremouth Method is “Take the Time to Do It Right.” As we come to the end of 2020, a very challenging year with so much uncertainty, the month of December really does offer interesting opportunities for strategic planning going forward. I know many of us wish we could wave a magic wand and this year would be over and better days would be guaranteed in our future. If we take the time to do it right, we can hold that wand in our hand and we really can create our own kind of magic by planning with deliberation in our approach and make some strategic decisions for the New Year.
A quote I really like by one of my favorite authors, John Irving, comes to mind when I think of coming to the end of this year. He says:
“You only grow by coming to the end of something and by beginning something else.”
I think there are many applications for that quote going forward for all of us in our personal and professional lives. Total control and predicting our future with certainty might be somewhat of an illusion, but we can implement important strategies by beginning now to consider our options for more success in the New Work World in 2021.
Let’s look at a few ideas during this month of December and evaluate our own personal and professional options:
1. Turn the word “NO” into “KNOW”
If you have lost a job in an industry that is in major decline, don’t let the NO word rule your life. Don’t hang onto the negative thinking that there are “NO available jobs for you.” Rather, focus on what you “KNOW” that can be transferred into another area. For example, if you have been in Supply Chain, what are the mechanics of the job that are a constant and can be used in other industries. So much of this thinking really is about Mindset and getting rid of negative attitudes. When a candidate comes to me for consulting and all they talk about are the negatives in their job search – “no one is hiring in my industry,” “I’m not sure I really fit into another type of company because this is all I’ve done for 15 years,” or “I keep getting rejection letters from all the jobs where I apply,” I gently suggest they might try changing the script they are using and rewriting a new story with more positives. By changing their mindset and believing they have what it takes to transfer skills, investigating classes available online, joining networking groups to make the right contacts, and having their resume reviewed by a professional to demonstrate the transferable skills, a new result might be achieved and much stress eliminated from the process.
2. Strengthen Your Sense of Self
I recently saw something on Facebook that said:
“Of all the people on the planet, you talk to yourself more than anyone else. Make sure you are saying the right things.” If you are always criticizing yourself, talking in a negative manner, beating yourself up for mistakes you have made or failures, that isn’t going to serve you well. You must like who you are and have a healthy sense of self to make change occur. Focus on the lessons you have learned from the experiences that have not always been pleasant and the growth that may have taken place rather than the failure itself. I remember a candidate coming to me who had just been fired. He admitted to me that he had been through a tough relationship breakup, his father had died, and he was not able to focus well on the job. He went on to tell me he learned a lot from getting fired and that he had been through months of counseling that really helped him feel stronger and more empowered. I ended up placing that candidate in a very good job because he found a way to come to terms with what he did, recognizing his mistake and deciding to get some positive help to move forward. The strength is in acknowledging the weakness, taking constructive measures to move forward, demonstrating a strong sense of self and changing that inner dialogue into something more positive and meaningful. Our words and thoughts are powerful.
3. Go the Extra Mile – In EVERYTHING
In the New Work World, going the extra mile isn’t just a suggestion; it’s a mandatory requirement. It can make all the difference in getting or not getting the job. I had a client tell me an interesting story this week that exemplifies this strategy. This client was a VP in a manufacturing facility and there was a position open for a sales representative. He set up four interviews for this opening. Three of the candidates had exact experience and one only had related skills. The last candidate had been referred to the VP from a networking contact and was highly recommended. The plant was located in a rather hard-to-find area. The three candidates with exact experience all showed up 15-30 minutes late because they had gotten lost. The fourth candidate with only RELATED experience showed up 30 minutes early for the interview. When the VP asked him how he was able to get there in a timely manner, the candidate told him that the day before he drove out there to make sure he knew where it was and would be on time for the interview. He essentially “went the extra mile.” The VP was so impressed that he hired him for the job. The client went on to tell me the candidate without the exact experience had the determination, strong work ethic and foresight, ended up being one of his best employees. With supply and demand on the employer’s side these days, the candidates that go above and beyond will be the ones getting the offers in the New Work World. Going the extra mile is more important now than ever before. Applicants must show that something “extra” as they compete for jobs in this employer’s market.
4. Take Baby Steps
Instead of focusing on the uncertainty of the future that arouses anxiety and fear, focus on what you can change in the short term. If you feel overwhelmed by not knowing where to begin, try breaking it up into something smaller and more manageable. Writing a novel might seem daunting but drafting a book map or detailed outline can be done in a few hours. If you have recently lost your job or feel you will soon, maybe during the month of December when companies are slower in hiring because budgets are coming to a close, focus on setting up 3-5 calls with people in your network. This list may include previous customers, people you know on a social basis, college friends, family members you might see during the holidays or have zoom meetings with. Catch up on what is going on with them in their jobs or job searches and learn more about various roles in different industries. Use this time as more of an information gathering time as opposed to going on several interviews.
Use this month of December to “Take the Time to Do It Right” by implementing strategies
that will allow you to grow and expand. Uncertainty and fear of what the future may hold
are on our minds these days. There really are no easy answers. With the suggestions above, you may find your own magic wand to wave and deal with whatever the future might hold and know that you CAN reinvent your Career for the New Work World and look forward to exciting new experiences to allow you to be an even better version of who you are!
Mary Ann Faremouth is the founder and CEO of Faremouth & Company and a highly regarded recruiter, career consultant, speaker and writer. She has been a placement specialist and a leader in the national recruiting community and has placed thousands of employees since 1982. She was the 2016 president of the Houston Independent Personnel Consultant Group and is a board member of the NASPD (National Association of Steel Pipe Distributors) and Authors Marketing Guild. She specializes in recruitment of professional, clerical, and temporary placements, with a variety of industry specific positions in various fields. Her expertise is in matching quality applicants with the right job, serving companies ranging from thriving independents to global conglomerates, tailoring each engagement to the client’s needs.
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, DC, and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations in various other industries, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. She has a keen understanding of the marketplace and its specialized needs and requirements.
Mary Ann brings a wealth of expertise to clients looking for the right individual to maximize and empower their team. As a consultant she is available to assist both the applicant and the client to quickly adapt to the New Work World. She also offers virtual and in-person workshops to guide individuals through personalized self-discovery to find new career paths. She continues to build her affiliations with recognized leadership organizations to best serve her clients and applicants by creating a network of highly professional contacts throughout the world. She utilizes her platform as a writer and speaker through her articles and affiliations to reach those in need of help, offering hands-on guidance to navigate this uncharted territory. (More information on www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 of the Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction by Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books by Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019) by Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018) by Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, teaching them how to tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction as well as the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann also showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.